Lakeside Mental Hospital

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 37°33′04″S 143°49′03″E / 37.55111°S 143.81760°E / -37.55111; 143.81760

Lakeside Mental Hospital
Location Wendouree, Victoria, Australia
Care system Public
Hospital type Psychiatric
Beds 900+
Founded 1877
Closed 1996
Lists Hospitals in Australia
Other links List of Australian psychiatric institutions

Lakeside Mental Hospital, originally known as Ballarat Asylum,[1] later as Ballarat Hospital for the Insane and finally, before its closure, as Lakeside Psychiatric Hospital,[2] was an Australian psychiatric hospital located in the suburb of Wendouree, the north-western fringe of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

The hospital first opened in 1877 but closed again soon after.[3] A reformatory for boys also operated on the site, and some of its buildings were reused when the hospital was reopened in 1893.[4] A brick building was converted into a ward to house 30 male patients. This was extensively damaged in a fire in 1917.[4] A report in 1895 said that the patients did not have enough warm clothing, and that they were shivering during the cold Ballarat winter.[5] Proposals to expand the asylum were mooted in 1909. Large scale extension and alteration were put forward by the state government in 1916.[6]

The hospital at its peak employed about 600 staff and could hold 1500 patients.[3] The site was 83 hectares, of which 40 hectares was used as a farm.[3] Crops planted in 1910 included leeks, cauliflowers, onions, rhubarb, potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes, celery, beetroot, peas, beans and parsnips.[7] In 1907, a Dr. Cherry reported that the patients helped to compress green fodder crops for storage by dancing jigs and reels on them to the accompaniment of a fiddle.[8]

The site is now used for the Ballarat Aquatic Centre, a number of sporting facilities, and the Lake Gardens housing estate. Some original building are still standing and have been renovated and reused.


An outbuilding burned down in 1898.[9] In 1909, an incident between inmates resulted in the death of one by pick-axe.[10] In 1917, a large fire destroyed one of the wings which was formerly the boys reformatory school.[4] A patient committed suicide by drowning himself in Lake Wendouree in 1995 after it was announced by the Government that deinstitution would begin. The man was a Long term patient. His disappearance was reported to the police, when staff took a group on a walk around the nearby lake. He was later found by a Lakeside nurse.

See also


  1. ^ University of Melbourne. Ballarat Asylum - Australian Psychiatric Care retrieved 5/5/12
  2. ^ University of Melbourne. Ballarat Hospital for the Insane - Australian Psychiatric Care retrieved 5/5/12
  3. ^ a b c Oliver, Jordan (13 May 2013). "Former Ballarat Lakeside Hospital staff meet again". Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Lunatic Asylum on fire". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 20 December 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Wendouree Lunatic Asylum". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 2 August 1895. p. 6. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  6. ^ The Argus. 11 October 1916. pg. 6
  7. ^ "A storm in a garden". The Farmer and Settler. NSW: National Library of Australia. 7 January 1910. p. 9. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "To make ensilage". 24 May 1907. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  9. ^ The Argus. 25 June 1898. p.10
  10. ^ Benalla Standard. 29 January 1909 p 4

External links

  • "Stencil Plate - Ballarat Lunatic Asylum, Metal, circa 1900". Museum Victoria. 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 

Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Lakeside Mental Hospital"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA